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40 Gallon FBT tank; Journal

6564 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  frozenbarb
The tank is a 40 gallon breeder. I set this up in September of this year.

I went to a local stereo shop and asked for some Styrofoam, and they were happy to let me take it off their hands. To shape it the way I wanted I used a Dremel and "Great stuff" expanding spray foam. I just gradually built up the land with spray foam, and adding fine grade bulk gravel from a landscaping place, while the foam was still sticky. The black thing with the hose sticking out of it is eventually the waterfall, which gets it's water from the filter that will go in the hole you can see underneath. The good part is all the wires for the filters, run behind the waterfall ;)

Then I covered the hole with a slate wall so that the wall would A; be very thin, so not to take up more water space, and B; be removable so I can access the filter. I also built up the edges of the stream more and the sides of the styrofoam, so that I could fill it with Potting soil. So to plant the terrestrial plants.

Here you can see that the top of the waterfall is unfinished, but you cant actually see it with the mesh top on. The entire front portion of the land mass is one big removable slate wall, glued together with spray foam. Its a bit sparse right now. But it will grow in, as you will see later.

The ferns and the moss actually grew spontaneously, in a previous paludarium of mine, they must have been hitchhikers in the potting soil. All I did was transplant them, but I did not actually, plant them initially.

Here's a recent pic.

Here's a closeup of the waterfall. The flow from the filter was too much ( it splashed everywhere) so I had to diffuse it with a flow director from a Fluval filter. But It blends in enough that if you look at it from a reasonable distance it is barely noticeable. Obviously its noticeable if you take a closeup shot of it LOL.

Here's a 45* angel

Here's a straight down shot

The plant guide

Finally here's 2 of the 3 frogs.

The slate I bought from a home improvement store for $6. The spray foam was $8 a can x 2 the substrate is playsand $10 for 25lbs. The potting soil was $15 The rest of the rocks came from my property and the driveway stones lol. The baby tears was $6 for 2"x2" x 1/2" high and as you can see it has grown quite a bit. The java fern and hydrocoytyl are clippings from my main aquarium. As I said the moss and ferns were spontaneous, so free. The ivy is an invasive weed that grows everywhere, so free again. The driftwood isn't driftwood, its a branch off of a tree, but it's on the land part so I needn't worry about it, so free again. The biggest expense was the tank itself which was $120 on sale, but it came with a mesh top which you cant see, because I took it off for the pictures.
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Oh yeah heres a clearer view of the plants. I took it without the lights, but with just a flash, the plants are clearer but the rest of the tank is really dark... oh well. I tried no lights on with flash, at other angels but the pics wont turn out, the reflection off the glass is too much.

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